I'm sitting at my desk researching topics on weight loss, and I found the common thread for what many people want to know, how to lose weight fast!
With 20 years of experience as a Personal Trainer, many of my clients want fast weight loss; however, there are many ways this can be done, with many methods being harmful to health. The basics of weight loss are to expend more energy (calories) than you consume, so let's take a look into how we can effectively implement this principle to lose weight fast whilst maintaining good health.
In this blog, I will share 5 components of healthy fast weight loss that you can use today to get quick results. These fundamental elements are based upon scientific principles and years of successfully personal training clients to achieve their goals.
5 methods for fast, healthy weight loss
The diet world can be an incredibly controversial and confusing journey to navigate when in fact, it's pretty simple when you stick to the fundamentals. So, let's quickly review what we know as accurate when implementing a successful diet.
Food Quality - High nutrient-dense foods work best to keep good health, energy levels, physical and cognitive function. So aim to eat the best quality foods you can and stay away from the garbage as much as possible. If you want a complete food guide to know how to create a healthy diet, you can download my Fast Weight Loss Guidebook here.
Higher Protein – Meat, fish, and poultry pack a powerful punch when embarking on a healthy weight loss diet. However, it's taking more energy (up to 30% of the calories) for your body to break these foods down during digestion, along with providing the body with the ideal blend of amino acids to support muscle, connective tissue, skin, hair and nail health. This is obviously difficult for vegans to contend with so, my advice if you don’t eat meat is to use a good vegan based protein supplement.
Low carb – Although carbohydrates are lower in calories than fats, the loss of fluids from a reduction in carbohydrate intake is dramatic, resulting in fast weight loss and a leaner look. The second advantage to low carb eating is the improved efficiency of your body burning fatty acids. Your body will adapt to functioning better on fats if you deprive your carbohydrate consumption. This term is known as metabolic flexibility, the body's ability to efficiently perform on fats or carbs. Thus, you’ll feel better and operate efficiently on less food. The final point worth noting with a low carb strategy is reducing food craving as your sugar intake is dramatically reduced. With better blood sugar regulation, you're in far better control of your behaviours around food. So think about it, if you feel good on less food due to metabolic flexibility and better control of your cravings, then you will find it easier to keep your caloric intake lower.
Calories – Keeping your calorie intake lower than your bodies expenditure is the essence of fat loss, so using the above 3 points will significantly aid you to achieve this. To know how to find your calorific intake, visit my fitness pal and use their calculator to find out roughly how many calories you should be consuming to lose weight. I also have extensive instructions on this in my Fast Weight Loss Guidebook.
The dietary points above are by no means the only way to achieve weight loss. However, they are efficient components that will form a healthy diet whilst supporting your fast weight loss journey. If you want to explore more details, then please see my guidebook.
Without a doubt, improving your fitness levels and moving your body more is the most important thing you can do for weight loss and living a long and healthier life. However, exercise will give you far more than you know. I have covered this in my previous blog, Diet vs Exercise, where I go into depth to explain why exercise is so effective with both weight loss and health.
For now, let's cover the essential benefits exercise will give you:
Now you can see the benefits. I'm sure you'll agree we should all be exercising regularly regardless of goals.
To get quick results, you want to create a balance of deliberate exercise sessions that work all areas of your body with physical activity that takes little effort but keeps burning calories consistently.
For example, completing 3x 1-hour effective workouts a week with a daily 40-minute power walk will undoubtedly significantly impact your weight loss goals. A typical workout routine will burn approximately 500 calories so long as you put in a reasonable effort. To help you further with exercise, I have created a library of fitness workout routines ranging from 500-1000 calorie burn workouts. I’ve also highlighted the duration for each one so you can see which routines suit your schedule, fitness ability, and home or gym routine. Visit my workout page to find some exercises to support your fast weight loss journey but, please be warned, the workouts are not easy!
This may seem like a strange component in weight loss; however, your sleep patterns are a critical element for optimal metabolic and cognitive function.
Your metabolic rate and energy levels are significantly impacted by sleep. Therefore, if you have a poor sleeping pattern (less than 6.5hrs per night), then your weight loss journey will be impaired, and your willingness to keep the journey going will diminish.
In this study (sleep & metabolism), the authors show the cascade of adverse metabolic outcomes from poor sleep patterns.
Remember, it's not just the implementation of these components; it’s also your ability to keep the consistency. If you can't stay consistent, you’ll never achieve weight loss. So, to strengthen your fast weight loss efforts significantly, make sure you get good sleep by going to bed and waking up at the exact times every day to help your body adjust to a consistent pattern. A good guide is to be in bed by 10.30pm, and wake at 6.30am. I know this will vary depending on your lifestyle, but you can adjust these times to work for you!
1 hour before going to bed, start an evening routine where you dim the lights at home, do not consume any calories, avoid all screens, TV, mobile or any other device. Then, journal your thoughts for the day and plan your tomorrow. I'll cover more about this in the journal section.
Conducting an evening routine and staying consistent will significantly benefit you, allowing for a good night of sleep and recovery, resulting in a fully charged mind and body to take on the next day!
Firstly, intermittent fasting is not a diet; it's an eating pattern that has become incredibly popular over the last few years. Intermittent fasting, particularly the 16/8 method, is a fantastic way to control your hunger, self-discipline, cravings, and reduction in food consumption.
Many personal trainers and 'experts' discount intermittent fasting because they lean on the calorie deficit argument. There is the prominent element of truth. However, the pleiotropic effects of intermittent fasting make it a robust system to utilise when wanting to lose weight. Here are some of the other benefits it can give you:
1. Blood sugar - Better blood sugar regulation results in better control of your hunger and behaviours around food and reduces cravings.
2. Excellent for Self-Discipline. Once you realise that you won't die after not consuming food for 4 hours, you quickly build resilience to hunger signals. Better self-control is precisely what you need when wanting to lose weight. We are surrounded by temptation 24/7, with the digital world endlessly supplying those things we desire in our field of view from the minute we wake to the minute we go to bed. Navigating through this world of temptation will always require good self-discipline, so applying strategies that help you psychologically and physiologically is a critical part of changing your body.
3. Physiological Function – Fasting has been shown to positively impact gene expression, cellular repair, insulin sensitivity and support good regulation of the hormonal system. If you want your system to work better, then this is another reason to do it!
There are numerous benefits to intermittent fasting and several strategies you can utilise. I cover intermittent fasting in more depth in my Intermittent Fasting Guidebook, which walks you step by step through the different fasting methods and how you can implement them within your lifestyle. For now, try the popular 16/8 way (basically skipping breakfast) so you can get going immediately with your fast weight loss. Adjust the timings I mentioned earlier to suit your lifestyle but make sure you keep to the following points:
You can still exercise as normal during your fasting window. Morning typically works best but focus on what makes the best fit for your lifestyle.
This probably seems like the most random in the context of weight loss but, allow me to explain why it’s a vital component of your fast weight loss journey.
Firstly, we take a simple scientific process of tracking and measuring but apply this to our daily lives. Being able to monitor your progress, make refinements, and stay motivated are staples of body transformation. Without a system to track what you're doing and the outcomes attached to your efforts, you will simply fail at some point.
This is an excellent tool for keeping yourself accountable. A study completed by the American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) found that you are 65% more likely to achieve your goals if you are held accountable. Furthermore, they concluded you are up to 95% more likely to achieve your goals if you keep a committed appointment with someone you are accountable to.
Let that sink in for a minute. The natural behaviour of humans is to work harder when we must answer to someone or ourselves. All you need to do is show up!
So it’s time to make a commitment to yourself by allowing time to journal your weight loss efforts. The morning is an excellent time to plan the day ahead, and the evening works well for reflection. Spend at least 15 minutes a day taking this time to document what you're doing. This process allows you to physically see progress or if you need to make an adjustment with what you're doing. Knowing you're on track or if you need to tweak, the feedback empowers you towards your goal as you build powerful positive emotions as you take steps forward each day.
If you need any more assistance with weight loss, you can download my FREE Fast Weight Loss Guidebook or try my Free 7 Day Fit Body Challenge where I'll coach you completely FREE for 7 Days.
Until next time